Over-the-Counter Cough Medicines Escape FDA Restrictions

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"The accessibility of dextromethorphan OTC allows individuals and family caregivers to quickly and effectively counter the negative impact of cough on their own and their family's life, thereby enabling them to continue with their work and private duties." The organization said that limiting sales under the Controlled Substances Act "would restrict its legitimate medical use as a self-treatment for cough," and predicted that eliminating the option to self-medicate with dextromethorphan "would probably have substantial public health consequences in terms of an increased utilization of healthcare system resources for acute cough and cold conditions and an increased use of non-equivalent alternative treatments."

However, the CHPA called age restrictions to curb teen access "a reasonable and potentially effective approach given the highest prevalence of abuse is among teens."

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